Closing

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Nalates
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Closing

Post by Nalates » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:02 am

This appeared in Friday's The D'ni Voice.
EDER D'URU SIM CLOSING
JeffeJ5005 Lewis

"Unfortunately, Eder D'Uru cannot remain open. Due to financial issues, we have no choice but to close the sim. The sim will remain open until Jan 4th during which time the sim will be emptying out and being saved into inventory as much as possible. Thanks for your support and the memories that have been had here."
I've been into Devokan and my other RPG's and have not spent much time in D'Uru. I don't know the details. It appears the financing issue is again at play.

Channelwood is moving to the OSGrid this month. There are 4 regions related to Devokan in the OSGrid.
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Re: Closing

Post by JWPlatt » Sat Jan 02, 2010 4:47 pm

What Uru community sims remain besides Devokan?

As things consolidate or diminish because of interest or finances, I'll be watching that with an eye toward how well open source Uru community servers would survive.
Perfect speed is being there.

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Dot
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Re: Closing

Post by Dot » Sat Jan 02, 2010 5:48 pm

There are quite a few. Minkartah (sp?), Eder Gira, Vulcan Myst, ... all of these are older than Devokan and active in different ways.

Then some individual explorers have their own plots or islands, which may or may not be part of the wider Uru community.

Funding is an extremely serious issue. I don't think individual explorers always appreciate how much it costs to fund a full or homestead sim on SL -- US $295 or $125 EVERY month -- and how much of a burden it can place on the sim owner.

The only realistic way that some of us can see this happening in SL is through rentals to others of hotel rooms, cottages, neighbourhood homes, land plots, shops and the like.

But then you have the problem that individual sims represent a relatively small area (only 256m by 256m), so if you are wanting to create a Myst/Uru-like sense of space, immersion and wonderment, residential density and type are potentially restricted.

When people suggest that raising this sort of money is possible through donation boxes or tip jars or through sales of virtual goods or services or through holding events, they are mistaken. SL sim owners will understand this. These methods raise mere dollars (if you are lucky), not the tens or hundreds of real US dollars required each month. This means that sim owners in SL are often subsidising the play and enjoyment of others by a substantial amount out of their own pocket every month.

Devokan is currently exploring the use of open-source OSgrid areas as an alternative and/or expansion to SL sims, either hosted from home-based servers or through sim hosting companies. The price for a single hosted region equivalent to an SL homestead sim comes down to about US $35 per month, which is probably just about affordable for a keen, gainfully employed fan.

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Re: Closing

Post by Tai'lahr » Sat Jan 02, 2010 6:08 pm

In my naivete, I briefly considered taking over the Eder D'Uru sim - even though it meant I might lose a chunk of money the first month. (Yes, I believe I could have turned it around to support itself.) However, it appears that the sim comes with a debt. Sigh

The owner of the sim where Eder D'Uru is built is with the Builders of Arda who now have their own grid and I was given a brief introduction to their home this morning.

It is very much like Second Life and even uses the same viewer, tools, interface, etc. The biggest difference is the money. The sim in Second Life that costs $295/month is only $12.50/month there. I'm ready to move there! But, will the Eder D'Uru builders be willing to move the build there? Will other Uru refugees in Second Life come to visit?

And, with Dot moving Channelwood to a different Open Source grid, will the community end up divided? I need more information and advice.

One major plus: without the stigma of the Second Life name, I believe more members of the Uru Community would join us there - whichever one we choose to settle in.

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Re: Closing

Post by Nalates » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:04 pm

Tai'lahr wrote:It is very much like Second Life and even uses the same viewer, tools, interface, etc. The biggest difference is the money. The sim in Second Life that costs $295/month is only $12.50/month there. I'm ready to move there! But, will the Eder D'Uru builders be willing to move the build there? Will other Uru refugees in Second Life come to visit?
These are hard questions for which to have definite answers. Dot and I have been discussing various costs and options. Posted some cost comparisons for Blue Mars in an article on my blog. The BoA grid is an example of what many are doing, making private grids which are open to the public. I have my own private grid on my workstation and may someday give it a public access point.

This is not simply a matter of will folks come and visit. I think much of the answer is in what the UU era revealed. Empty MMO’s don’t really attract people.

An advantage that is coming is grid interoperability. Some are predicting we will see this happen in late 2010. That is sort of a Cyan soon. When that happens travel from grid to grid will be like travel from region to region. That should increase the likely hood of visitors.

Also grids may grow… Blue Mars offers areas up to 16km x 16km and one can build out beyond that but AV’s stay within that, which makes SL and OS regions look tiny (256m x 256m). I doubt BM will participate in the shared grid and I’m not at all convinced they will survive. But a 10 concurrent AV sim of 256,000,000 sq km for US$30/mo is pretty attractive. Metaplace, or verse or something, with a similar philosophy is closing too. While the big areas make me drool I am way skeptical of the BM business model. However, with meshes coming to SL, probably early 2010, BM content will be usable in SL and OS.

OSGrid is having physics problems. That hopefully gets fixed this month.
Tai'lahr wrote:And, with Dot moving Channelwood to a different Open Source grid, will the community end up divided? I need more information and advice.

:lol: I assume you mean more divided than it is now? I think that is a yes. Will open source make MOOSU… MOOU… (I really have to pick one someday) possible in 2010? I hope but the Riven for iPhone rumors have me wondering.

I don’t know if division is good or bad. We will divide and consolidate and go through cycles. That is just how it seems to work. So, if we are smart, we plan for it.

JWP, I’m not sure how much we/you should rely on Eder D’Uru as an example. I am very surprised it is closing for financial reasons. At $200/mo with shops and homes and some game play… I would think it was funded. Rumor is there were other issues too. If you have not been in SL’s D’Uru then make a quick visit, if possible. While D’Uru had some great experiments in process, it was definitely not the Myst-Uru game one could play. I hope to learn more about why it is closing. If differences in vision, ideas or drama are part of the reasons for its closing then it may fall into the projects that may be helped by the Stds. for Discussion & Debate. Not being a resident of D’Uru I don’t have good information.

Again it was a mostly deserted region whenever I visited. The efforts with Devokan to attract players have shown some possibilities. The idea of using journals to bridge story for low population areas has possibilities. We’ll see how that translates for use on the OSGrid.
Tai'lahr wrote:One major plus: without the stigma of the Second Life name, I believe more members of the Uru Community would join us there - whichever one we choose to settle in.
That is possible. I’m not sure how much of a group that would be. I’m also not sure how much they would find to do there. Will the shops work on the new grid? Commerce may be out. How many core SL people will move over and help new folks?

I suspect those that dislike SL will not be happy with OS and private grids.

One area of hope is Crux Isle. Jandai’s Myst-Uru style puzzles age. It has gone into testing. There is no projected opening date I know of. What is the Cyan scale value after soon? I’m teasing. Jandai and Taimaru do nice work, are creative and from helping out earlier I can say the puzzles I saw are fun. I think its popularity will tells us how people like puzzle ages. For now MadPea puzzle regions seem to have good interest. But then I understand the funder, Orange Comm, withdrew their support. :cry:

The Dark RP sim NoR is shrinking now, 28 down to 14 sims. Some other combat RP sim's are growing. It's not hard to see what is selling... WoW, GW...
Nalates
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Tai'lahr
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Re: Closing

Post by Tai'lahr » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:33 pm

Nalates wrote:JWP, I’m not sure how much we/you should rely on Eder D’Uru as an example. I am very surprised it is closing for financial reasons. At $200/mo with shops and homes and some game play… I would think it was funded. Rumor is there were other issues too. If you have not been in SL’s D’Uru then make a quick visit, if possible. While D’Uru had some great experiments in process, it was definitely not the Myst-Uru game one could play. I hope to learn more about why it is closing. If differences in vision, ideas or drama are part of the reasons for its closing then it may fall into the projects that may be helped by the Stds. for Discussion & Debate. Not being a resident of D’Uru I don’t have good information.
What happened to Eder D'Uru:
The sim was owned by the Builders of Arda who held non-profit status in Second Life. The BoA promoted literacy and because Uru was associated with novels, they were able to give us a sim at the non-profit rate. However, a few months into it, they lost that non-profit status with SL and were forced to raise our tier to the full sim rate of $295/month. Because of this sudden change, they offered to give Jeff a little leeway/buffer for awhile. Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to most of us, that debt to them kept accumulating over a period of time until they could no longer carry it. There were several missteps at ED, not the least of which was that Jeff wasn't open about the finances and was resistant to advice.

And, as Dot has pointed out, Second Life is just too darned expensive!

But, we all live and learn... I'm ready to leave that all behind us, now.

What I would like now is learn what I can about all the OSgrid options, including the various viewers and what they do. Is there a discussion about this already in progress somewhere, or should I start one here?

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Dot
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Re: Closing

Post by Dot » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:02 pm

Divisions can be good: they can enable those with differing visions to have the space to bring those visions to fruition.

Divisions can be bad: they can spread finite resources too thinly, so that in the end no vision comes to fruition.

I'm not worried about different groups spreading to different online worlds. We've already got that with Uru groups in underground shards of various flavours, Myst/Uru groups in There, in SL, in GW, and with those who stay on forums only or play standalone Uru:CC.

What matters is being able to respect each others' choices and trying to keep in touch, enjoying whatever we're doing and not putting up barriers or spoiling others' efforts.

As Nalates says: intergrid linking between the Open Sim grids is within reach. That is one reason why I chose OSgrid. It is the largest open-source grid, and has a good group of active developers. The people behind the sim host company I am using for OS Devokan are key developers of the Open Sim and Hypergrid platforms, so in one way we're helping test the software as it moves from alpha to beta (GoMa is still active :P ). They also happen to be very responsive when problems are reported. (I did try out another provider who failed badly in this.)

Various payment systems are also being tested out on the OSgrid, so keen shoppers may yet have their addiction fed. ;)

In the meantime, Paislee and I are happy to have affordable space and prims to create areas that people like to linger in, visit and explore. They aren't going to attract vast numbers of players at a time -- that's not our aim. One thing, however, we have noticed both in SL and OSgrid: for some reason our builds attract explorers from darker, more intense RP areas, who keep coming back, and who tell their friends about us (emphasising the need for respect of the PG rating).

Tailahr, one of the Devokan OpenUru project aims (which I have yet to set out formally; sorry JW) will be to look at Open Sim possibilities and intergrid working, including how best to support explorers.

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Re: Closing

Post by Nalates » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:52 am

To get an idea what the viewers can do, read through my blog, Nalates Things & Stuff. Up at the top is a tab for ARCHIVE. Click and scroll that page down.

Emerald is the popular viewer for SL. It can also be used on most grids. If you use it to move content out of a grid then it must be used to move it into the new grid.

Imprudence and Meerkat are excellent viewers for moving content between grids. I think they work with each others exported content.

The Hippo viewer is popular with many on the OSGrid and is the default viewer for signing up on OSGrid. It has the best dialog for working on multiple grids. I use it for building in my private sim.

The S18 viewer is the viewer for photographers as it has the dynamic shadows. It to can work on other grids, but the author is big in Open Life. :)

You will hear about RealXtend, they are the group in the lead on meshes (somewhat like sculpties) in the OSGrid. Meshes are currently available in OSGrid with the addition of a module. One has to use the RealXtend viewer to see and edit meshes brought into the region. I have no idea what they do if one is using another viewer.

Dot and I have been posting about OSGrid on GoMa. Look in the Projects area for Open Sim. Since there is some info there now, we may want to continue a discussion there. On the other hand, since there is no guild leadership there now, we may want to consider a new section in this forum. Get JWP's opinion and thoughts. Whatever, you'll want to read the info on GoMa to catch up.

The free OSGrid will give you an idea what most of the grids are like. Open Life is a bit more commercial, organized and 'official' and is like SL in that it can be free. right...
Nalates
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